But last year, something happened that led me to reconsider my feelings about those years. Yes - there's still plenty I'm uncomfortable about and even regret (like, say, participating in a Pimp and Ho theme party. Or the inevitable judging of other young women. Not going to lie - I shudder when I think about it. I didn't know any better at the time, and the reality is that I didn't try to know better either.)
But there was also a lot of good. I just couldn't see it up close; like most things, a little distance helped. What other time in my life has female friendship been such an enormous part of my life? Support. Belonging. Ceremony. There's something to it. There's a weird sort of intimacy that happens that most of us never quite find our way into again. Being intoxicated roughly 70% of the time probably had something to do with it.
I didn't stay in touch with a lot of the girls I was close to in college; I have some regrets about that. But I recognize the lingering affinity for those women, older and younger. And that's what drew me to Emily McQueen.
Emily scared me to death while I was in college. She was high energy, suffered no fools, was funny, smart, and seemed to draw loyal friends. She was southern and yet not. She was one of those belles who didn't look or act like a belle. She did the Worm at parties.
A few years ago we found each other on Facebook and struck up a friendship that quickly turned into a meaningful conversation. To summarize, the writer in me realized Emily was living one of the most beautiful love stories I'd ever heard. The sister in me only regrets that she's no longer here to tell it to you herself. And she wanted to.
Read about it here.